I try to check and read most local Blogs and City Councilor Rodney Elliot launched a Blog the Low(ell) down in early 2010. I stopped checking it out because he hadn’t posted since July 2010, apparently he is back posting. He has a Post dated June 3 2011 titled “ Government Transparency – Getting Cloudy at City Hall but then nothing until last Friday Sept. 16th in a Post titled: UMASS-Lowell Student Parking, Pawtucketville Residents: Relief is on the way !
He Posted again Sunday, September 18, 2011 on the City Clerk situation, the following is cross Posted from his Blog !
City Clerk Office – “new reports” date back to July 19, 2011.
On Friday night I received a packet of information delivered by the Lowell Police Department on “new reports” recently discovered. These reports should be emailed to Councilors in the future because we’re tying up police officers to act as couriers. But I digress….
The date on the reports is: 9/12/2011, just one day before the City Council was scheduled to vote on an extension of the Acting City Clerk Brian Leahy which was set to expire on 9/26/11, prior to the next City Council meeting. Some form of action had to be taken to ensure the continuity of management in the Clerk’s office. Be it extending the Acting Clerk for a period of time or appointing the Assistant Clerk.
What is very odd to me is the fact that the information contained in this report was from interviews conducted in July of this year – over 8 weeks ago. Why are we now just getting these reports? We were told in Executive Session that the contents of these reports were confidential, and were to remain confidential. But apparently now they are not. I really don’t understand these two very different realities.
As I told the Mayor yesterday when I returned his phone call, the timing of his communication and call for a Special City Council meeting is suspect. If this information was available it should have been provided to the Council prior to last Tuesday’s meeting. In addition, any report by the Acting Clerk also should have been provided before last Tuesday’s meeting. The Acting Clerk has had 60 days to provide us with the information. Why wait until after the re-appointment was considered. I’m going to assume that the Clerk knew what was on the City Council agenda. And why a reappointment for 90 days?
Had the Mayor asked the he be reappointed until next week so that the Acting Clerk could render his report for consideration before taking the issue up I could have seen the merit in that request. Three months gives one individual an unfair advantage for the permanent position.
I understood the need for an independent person in that office during the investigation period. Someone with no horse in the race that would be forthcoming with Law Enforcement. In retrospect we should have included language in the 60 day appointment that stated no individual that serves as the Temporary Clerk can apply for the permanent position. All present at the meeting were told by the Mayor that Mr. Leahy only wanted to serve on a temporary basis, because he recently started his own law practice ( the reason for him leaving the City Solicitor’s Office) and I took him at his word.
It should be an interesting discussion at our next meeting. Since this is a personnel matter, under the State Rules, it is to be held in Executive Session unless the person being discussed wants it in public. I believe it should be held in a public forum rather than behind closed doors so the public can witness and decide for themselves exactly what is going on.
I will also advertise the following for Councilor Elliot since I re-posted his Blog Post
Campaign Fundraiser:Lowell Lodge of Elks.
Friday September 30th , 2011 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Donation is appreciated but not necessary.
As Always – Kids are welcome